posts 16 - 30 of 33
Avatar
underhill44
Posts: 17

In general of course, this movie was extremely hard to watch. The cinematography was excellent and made it so much more vivid, for better or for worse. I definitely agree with Eos, afterwards I felt drained and unable to really speak, which I’m feeling even now.

One thing I noticed was that Spielburg really utilized contrast, for example the first murder we see on screen immediately followed by a playful nude scene, or the lively piano music being played during the killings of the people hiding in the house. I respected that on a technical level and it definitely fulfilled its purpose of hammering in the difference between people’s lives and their priorities, but it was downright painful to watch.

I confess, I didn’t fully watch the movie, for most of it I was curled up with my hands over my ears and my eyes closed trying to breathe normally, because it was too much. Even with that limited experience however, it left a lasting impact that I doubt will escape me anytime soon.


Power was an interesting theme throughout the movie, especially in the conversation between Schindler and Goeth. 617capecod5 touched upon the point I’m about to make by saying, “Schindler talks about pardoning people with Amon Goeth, he means that when you pardon someone you demonstrate just how much power you really have. You have enough power to punish them, but you demonstrate the further extent of your power by going beyond simple authority power of punishment…” Going beyond simply carrying punishment out not only shows your power, it shows leadership, which is what Schindler seemed to link together.

His view of power is the ability to choose how you affect others, for example, choosing whether someone lives or dies. Having someone’s life in your hands, and then “pardoning” them shows how their life depends on your whims, but it’s more than that.


The only situation I can think to relate this to is catching a teen committing a crime, and choosing to let them go instead of punishing them. Although Jewish people of course didn’t do anything wrong, how the Nazis treated them could determine their future, or lack thereof. Because of this, Schindler saw an opportunity to further some people’s careers and lives, while Goeth saw an opportunity to take lives away. Instead of using power to lead and improve the circumstances of the people he was relatively in charge of, Goeth instead took advantage of his power to enact his sadistic tendencies. In my opinion, Goeth’s view of power was the ability to cause destruction without consequences, so he confused “power” with “invincibility”.


As for the question of whether or not we would be an “upstander” ourselves, I would like to say that I would risk my life to save others, and maybe I would, but I just don’t know. I know that if my family were in danger, or even in potential danger, I would do anything to help them. I would do the same for a child, or a fellow girl, but there’s no way to predict what exactly we would do, and that’s why people say that crises reveal one’s true character. One line that cannot be crossed is endangering others for the sake of yourself. An example of this is selling someone else out, or letting someone else take the fall for something you do. Doing those things means that you value your own life more than the life of others, which isn’t fair.


As for Schindler, and how he made the switch from “bystander” to “upstander”, I can’t figure it out, and maybe we shouldn’t seek to. He seemed like the kind of man who would break laws and social rules with no problem, but he would die before going against his personal code. Due to his naturally morally grey character (womanizing, profiteering, etc.), he didn’t guide himself by a set of pre-written principles, but rather by his own. The labor camps and the possession of Jewish houses and businesses didn’t violate his code because it benefitted him, and he could still maintain relatively peaceful relations with the Jewish people, but there’s no way he could be friendly with his workers while turning a blind eye to their murders. It was almost as if a switch went of in his brain, perhaps at the sight of the girl in the red coat, a child who clearly did not belong in the heinous situation she was in. Nevertheless, something suddenly hit him that these were his people, and no one was allowed to hurt his people. His fiercely protective, almost territorial, urge to protect his workers was remarkable, maybe due to his inexperience with a large workforce and his inability to see them as just one group of people, but rather as individuals.


No matter what the reason was, his actions stand true and are heroic. My feelings about Schindler were perfectly echoed in his scene at the end where he was open about his immoral past. He said all of the things that I disliked about him, but despite his history, the people he saved didn’t care because he saved them and what he was most worried about is that he didn’t save enough, and that resembles true unfettered heroism.

Avatar
Mulan23
Posts: 17

Schindler's List

Schindler’s List is the most moving film I have ever seen. Nothing has ever come close to the feelings that this movie invoked. I think it is very important for everyone to see this film, especially in the coming generations when there will no longer be holocaust survivors. In response to Eos’ statement: “We talk about genocide and murder and hate all on a daily basis but we always act normal and get through, so what made today different?...The reality of the Holocaust was shoved right into our faces, and then it was shoved in our faces again.” I think that his film not only invoked strong feelings and shared firsthand the horrific things that happened to victims of the Holocaust, but also imprinted it into our brains and made it an unforgettable experience. But the truth is, this film only showed a fraction of what happened.

In Goeth’s point of view, power is the ability to control people’s lives and whether they live or die. To him, “pardoning” was his way of playing God. Whereas to Schindler, pardoning was his way of using his power in a benevolent way and something he believes has a positive effect on others. Schindler has a very similar view of power, he believes that power is the ability to control, but not in respect to whether people live or die. His ability to manipulate others who have more political or military power and to control himself, is what ultimately makes him a powerful person.

Personally, I believe that the line should be drawn at actively killing innocent people in order to save your own life, especially if they are in a similar situation to your own.

I think that Schindler definitely had a turning point where he decided to become an upstander. At the beginning of the movie, it is clear that Schindler supports the Nazi party and had a rather indifferent approach to the Jews, he saw employing them as a way to save money, not lives. However, when he is on top of the hill seeing the liquidation of the ghetto and all its horrors, it is clear that Schindler is unsettled by this. Spielberg shows this in a not so subtle way, Schindler is sort of jolted awake by the young girl’s red coat, which could symbolize all the bloodshed that he is seeing. I agree with 617capecod5 that “his transition from bystander to upstander was more gradual and overtime.” After the liquidation, he began to take small steps, first with saving the girl’s Jewish parents, while actively denying that he is saving people. After that, he continually gives Stern items that help him save others, a few at a time. Some time later, he makes a complete list of several hundred Jewish workers and puts millions of his personal money on the line to save his workers.

Avatar
zenitspb25
Posts: 25

I am not a particularly emotional person, I don't cry a lot. However, by the end of this film, I couldn't count the amount of time I shed some tears in certain moments. Everyone I talked to said that they did cry or break down during some sections, if not during the entire film, most of them saying it occurred during the liquidation of the ghetto or when Schindler broke down at the end. The entire day I was still pondering the film and as I am typing this I felt like I was being placed back into the theatre where it all happened. Today was a lot to take in, first with the actual film then Rena confirming its events. I don't think I will experience something like that ever again; Schindler's List is a truly amazing piece of art and I'm glad to be able to see it on the big screen like that. When Schindler was talking to Göth about being able to "pardon" people, he meant that as someone in power you could be able to make a difference and forgive the person that did something wrong and let them start anew again, eg. being an upstander with influence. Schindler's view of power is to have great influence over others and their lives, while Göth thinks that power comes from "strength" and brute force and controlling people adamantly. For me, the line is when the "compliant worker" actively hurt others, physically and/or emotionally, especially when they are not coerced into doing so. I would not hurt a fellow human being to save my own hide. When Schindler saw the liquidation of the ghetto and the girl in the red coat, I think that's when he had a change of heart. Maybe the horrors there was too much for him to bear, maybe he felt guilty witnessing it as he was a member of the Nazi Party. He shifted from being a bystander to an upstander when he tried to save his workers by running a subcamp, and when he transferred the parents of the lady in Krakow to his factory, and his full shift was when he seeked to get his workers to Czechoslovakia.

Avatar
LD75019
Posts: 29

Thoughts on Oskar Schindler

From hearing from both Rena and Schindler’s list, the power of being able to “pardon” people lies in forgiveness of oneself and others even if the transgressions do not directly affect those involved. Schindler’s view underlying view of power in my opinion is to being able to see wrong being done to someone else or themselves and not react to punishment, rather work in changing that person or thing for the better. He sees the shades of grey in a person’s character and believes in their ability to be different where Amon Goeth sees things in black and white; power is used to gain compliance and punish those who disobey.


As for drawing the line for saving your own life I would say that if you deliberately put someone else in the line of fire to save your own neck that is where the line is crossed and should not be crossed. Although the Jews turned “Judenrat” were working for the Nazi’s, they were not particularly depicted as the worst figures under the Nazi regime which is probably due to the sympathy to their own people. I believe they did what they needed to do and although it is a small act of betrayal, they did not kill anyone.


I think what made Schindler do the heroic things he did was that he lacked a lot fulfillment from people he actually valued in his life. Perhaps he saw that although he was given much gratitude by SS officers and other Nazi officials for his gifts, Schindler really wanted gratitude from his accountant who he says “I couldn’t do this without you.” But before anyone says I’m simplifying if down to gratitude, I also think that the bigger reasons or the reason was all of the death he was witnessing and seeing the power he had to save others. I believe he changed because he realized the impact that he could have on the small group of people he had under him in his business and saw the death that followed them.
Avatar
Torino
Posts: 35

Power

To reiterate spaceman's comment “I’m finding it hard to really put what I’m feeling and thinking into words, so it might be a little bit of a confusing, jumbled up mess of a post.”


I also procrastinated extra tonight because I am not really ready to face my feelings. I have always been a very closed off person, everyone knows me but no one knows anything about me below a surface level because I don’t really like letting people in, I have been trying to improve that especially since I want to make more friends and you can’t do that without opening up at least a little. But that’s enough about me, this post is not about me, this post is about my feelings about one of the best movies of the 20th century.


I don’t cry during movies, it’s not like I’m trying to be stoic or anything but I think that the last movie I cried at was when I watched Finding Nemo when I was five. That is not to say that this movie did not move me deeply. This was the closest I have been to cry in movies in a long time. I would never judge anyone who cried either since that is their emotions and those are not mine to criticize.


When I watched the movie I was impressed by how skillful the director had been with everything, everything was perfect. The first shit to black and white when the shot was focused on the train was perfect, it was beautiful. I fell in love with the movie and Schindler from the first moment, because he was just a likable character since he seemed to be a “nice guy” from the beginning however when things started happening I felt an physical shift in my face about ten-twenty minutes into the movie when things started to get bad. All the humor in the next 3 or so hours was funny but only served as a tension that was hanging over the film like a dark cloud.


The moment that was most impactful for me was when Goeth was about to kill the hinge maker which ties directly into the first question, what does it mean to have power and is it your duty to pardon people? Shindler’s view of power is the correct one, in my opinion, his view is that the power is complete and absolute, one has the power to kill and save one at the same time if you are able to save someone, that is true power, that is one of the reasons that the President pardons a Turkey at Thanksgiving every year. So that they can show that they have absolute power, the power to give and take away life at one time. Goeth’s view of power was not that, it was much more sadistic because he believes that power is that to kill, not to save a life, all he understands is killing, he doesn’t understand mercy which is when he decided to pardon a couple people they all end with him shooting a child for a minor offense.


Second question, what would I do to save my life? If I’m being incredibly honest I don’t know, I feel that there is an incredible value to my life specifically. The problem with that is that I don’t know know how I could sleep at night giving up someone else's life for mine. They very honestly have the same amount of worth to society as I do, they have friends, family members, people who they matter to and matter to them. I don’t want my life to be scared because I decided to be “selfish” and killed someone else so that I could save myself. I try to think of myself as an ethical person but I don’t know what I would do if I were faced with a situation like that. Human instinct dictates that you want to save yourself before saving someone else.


Schindler did the heroic things that he did because (I think) he could not do anything anymore, he needed to do something. I don’t think there was a real flipping of a switch moment. In the first scene where he meets Isaac he doesn’t care that he is Jewish which allows him to continue on his quest. He was always an up-stander he never was a bystander, he just didn’t show it. He always stood up for his workers no matter what and always wanted them to continue working for him. Throughout the movie, he was always standing up for the Jewish people no matter what situation he was in. He greased the wheels of the Nazi empire, a little bribe here, a little bribe there, keep the empire chugging along with extra money in the pockets of the SS officers.


Good night,

Torino.

Avatar
Rainier
Posts: 18

Schindler's List

When the movie ended and the credits were rolling, there was a moment in the theater, that was what I can only describe as a unspoken moment of silence. It didn't feel appropriate to clap, even movie was fantastic in all ways, and in that moment, no one could make a sound or even move, in reaction to what we watched. This movie was so incredibly powerful, my words will not do it justice but one can only understand the true impact of the movie when they watch it themselves. It was when the credits started to roll when I cried the most. I had been so invested in the movie, to have it just end almost didn't feel right and a realization fell on me, that it wasn't just a movie that I was watching. It was a moment of history, that can never be erased. The movie was able to teach me things about the Holocaust that I didn't know before and the extreme things that the Jewish people had to do to survive. But the movie almost taught a powerful lesson about humans and morals. Following Oskar Schindler's journey and development, from when he was completely on the Nazi side, to when he had to flee after the war, was so impactful. I think it brings a different understanding to the Holocaust that people don't often see.

The cinematography of the movie was absolutely beautiful and one could tell that every angle, sound, and detail was there in order to portray some kind of message. What I think was one of the most impactful parts of the movie was the lack of censorship it had. It shows that history should not be censored, the horrors were there for the people who suffered and to censor those things is almost to take away from its actual meaning. I don't think I would've had the same reaction to it if I hadn't seen all those scenes and the true horror that came with it. I have always had so much respect for Steven Spielberg and his talents and this film amplified that even more. The use of color was a fascinating tactic and it shows the message of the little girl even stronger. Another part of the movie that was really moving was the music that was used. In addition to the wonderful, powerful theme by John Williams, another amazing creator, the use of Jewish chorus's and songs was so moving. I believe that music is such a strong part of cultures and history because it is universal and lives on forever. Even if you weren't Jewish, you felt the powerful impact and emotion behind each one. I could honestly go on forever about the movie, but these were the things that stuck out to me the most.

The fact the we were able to hear from Rena immediately after watching the movie was incredible. This really made it a once in a lifetime experience. I think hearing a personal account after watching a movie about the Holocaust and Schindler's List gave us a deeper connection. Everything that she talked about lined up with what we watched and it was heartbreaking because it really showed that it wasn't just a movie. This was all real and it happened to Rena and countless others. I loved Rena's talk because she didn't only discuss her experience but she went deeper into the meaning of what she went through and what we must do now. She said that we have so much potential because we are the future and I found that so inspiring.

The scene in which Schindler discusses pardoning people as a true form of power was fascinating. Goeth pushes the idea aside because I think in his eyes, power is utter submission from all people, and being the superior. Goeth lusts for this submission through tactics of fear and force. However, the act of pardoning brings a new interpretation of power to the board. I think when Schindler says that that is true power, he is saying this because the power lays in having the complete control of someone else in one's hands. He says that power is having the ability to kill someone but not killing them. This power doesn't necessarily mean that this act has to be for a just cause, it's simply having the ability to do the worst but not having to care about it. It is a very interesting concept that I think we see Schindler actually do in the film. Schindler has every ability to kill all of those Jew in the factory or keep them in the camps to die, but he, in this case, pardons them.

It's hard to say where I would draw the line if I were in that situation, well because simply, I am not in that situation. I would love to say that I would stay with my family and friends and do whatever I can to protect them but when faced in that kind of situation, human instincts comes in. I think that I would try to save myself first. It's a dark thing to say but if forced into something like that, after time, morality and ethics can be stripped away so fast. I would draw the line however of killing other people like me. I don't think that I could directly and purposefully do that to someone.

Finally, seeing Schindler's character development was fascinating. I think that Liam Neeson did an incredible job acting in a role that could not have been easy to do. I think that ultimately in the end, Schindler changed because he began to connect and understand Jews more. We gradually see his relationship with Stern improve and grow. Stern was originally just a tool for business but soon they formed a personal, closer bond with each other, as Schindler began seeing him as more of a human than a tool. Although they had no direct interaction, I think Schindler had a connection with the little girl in red. He singled her out of all the people during the liquidation scene and then seeing her body in the wheel barrow really struck a nerve. Personal connections like these made it more obvious that the Holocaust wasn't just a numbers games and that the people killed were real people. And Schindler didn't understand this until he got to know the Jews as real people. He grew a connection to the workers and even though he didn't know every single one of them, there was a point where he had enough personal connections that his mindset changed.

Avatar
Orange Juice
Posts: 23

Schindler's List - Thoughts

Overall, the film was very emotional and a lot to digest in one sitting. The most disturbing part was the loud gunshots followed by innocent Jews, especially the children, bleeding from their heads. Although I did not cry, the events that occurred really stuck to me to the point of not expressing much facial emotions.

When Schindler explained what "power" meant to Goeth, I believe he meant the ability to control someone's fate in one's own hands. He gave the example where a peasant, or someone who had committed a crime, was brought forward to the emperor to have his fate determined. Instead of sentencing the man off to death like most would have expected to happen, the emperor "pardoned" him. This simple act of changing one's life is what Schindler means as power. On the other hand, Goeth believes that power is the ability to kill anyone at his own desire.

The actions of the Judenrat are understandable in their situation because everything concerns human lives. Everyone is selfish in a way so I do not fault the Judenrat for what they do. In their case, saving themselves or trying to help loved ones are more important than the survival of all Jews as a group. This drawing of the line is quite similar to the common question: Who would you save if you only had one choice between five civilians or one loved one? I think the line is drawn when you are sacrificing hundreds to thousands of lives for one of someone you care about. Of course, the line is still blurry because the specific amount of lives on hand raises questions.

A large contribution to Schindler's change is definitely the little girl dressed in a red coat walking among the massacre of Jews that happened in the ghetto. At the time, Schindler seemed shocked to have witnessed not only mass murder in front of his eyes but also a small child, almost nonchalant, walking through the killings happening around her. This turning point opened his eyes to the cruelty of the Nazi army and he slowly made small steps in helping as many Jews as he can into protection.

Avatar
Miss Day
Posts: 26

A Day to Remember

I feel as though I can't really write this, at least not today. I purposefully waited until the last possible moment (for me at least) to make my response because I don't believe a handful of hours is enough time to really process that film, not to mention Rena's speech afterwards. I understand in the interest of time and lesson planning we must make these posts relatively quickly after events as such, but I simply don't think I have had enough time to fully formulate my opinions about Schindler's List and the impact the day's events had on me. I had a similar experience to both Eos and Underhill44 after the event had concluded. None of the words that came out of my mouth felt right, I almost felt as if I had not right to speak at all. Even now I still feel this overwhelming sense of unease and shock, the rawness of the emotional toll that experience took on me.

We are lucky. I don't only mean in the sense that hopefully, we will never personally experience something even slightly close to the level of terror, pain, and suffering that was the Holocaust. What I mean by that, is that there are 7.5 billion people on the planet and almost none of them will ever have the ability to experience what we all just bore witness to. If we could fill that theater room with everyone on this planet at one point in their life, have each person on this planet hear Rena's story--to become witnesses themselves-- I guarantee our world would be a much more loving place. It's funny to me how Oskar begins speaks about his success to his wife when she first appears. He tells her the reason he lacked success in the first place was due to war not being present, that only war can propels oneself to great success. Now economically speaking, as a war profiteer initially, Oskar was most certainly right in that regard. However it extended beyond that. As twisted as it may seem, the war really did make him successful, for without it, he never would have transitioned from a selfish businessman, to actually giving a damn about the world and people around him. As humans we tend to view things in more optimistic ways. Maybe not every day, but human outlook tends to try to make it so that even the most negative things can be seen in a positive light. What actually makes people change, however, is tragedy. Certainly people can be influenced by the kindheartedness of others, but in reality somewhere down the line they, or those who help that individual grow, have suffered in some way. That pain and sadness manifests itself into many things, and for us--as Rena hoped it would-- it should form a sense of courage, hope, and a willingness to love. Nonetheless, even to get to that point, we as an audience had to experience the suffering of those who encouraged that behavior so that we may gain context for it all. Schindler had to see it. He had to hold it in his hands. In a society of by-standards that raw, personal connection he gained creating his factory enabled him to change. Schindler didn't appear to have an inherent opinion of Jewish people, his only concern was doing as he pleased and making lots of money while doing so. I talked to some people after the film and it was discussed how maybe his initial push to use a Jewish labor force was to bolster his "presentation" as he put it. It's likely that he didn't give a damn about saving Jews at the start and instead wanted to "stick it to the man". By that I mean Oskar played by his own rules. If someone tried to stop him he'd just push harder. Showing all his Nazi connections and those around him he could have a workforce of Jewish slaves became essentially a big middle finger to the established bureaucracy, while also gaining him more notoriety and respect in the process.

As many have already pointed out, his shift most likely came about when watching that little girl in the red coat stubble through the blood and carnage of the ghetto liquidation. The usage of color,--the bright, blood-red-- to highlight this character enforced the idea that Oskar was now focused, he had an ideal, an image to protect in his mind. Maybe her red coat symbolized blood, or the Nazi color scheme (red with black and white), or even love. whatever the significance, that was a sign, a clear and visceral sign of the reality of his situation. Ms. Freeman, you asked how and if we could bottle such a shift in character. I don't think we can, instead individuals must be thrust into it. The irony of this, as I mentioned above, is that something terrible has to happen in order for something terribly wonderful to come about.

I don;t fully understand the wording of the second question but I'll do my best. In short: There's no way of me knowing how far I'd go to save my own life because I've never been in a situation where my life being in danger may or may not impact the probability of someone else dying as a result. I'd like to say that I'd do anything, trade my life even, if it meant more around me could live. But that's nit necessarily be the case. Our courage has never been tested like that before...

As for power: Oskar Schindler was doing something in that moment that no one else stopped to ask themselves within the Nazi party. He essentially asked Goethe why. Why does he act. Why does he kill. In reality, there is no true reason. We know the historical context of the time, and how Hitler rose to power by employing emotionally unstable individuals who were easily manipulated. However within the context of the film, we get very personal perspectives with those on the enemy side. We see that Goethe has insecurities he hides by killing, but ruthlessly murdering those around him in spirit and physically. Internal conflicts he experienced are only met with external rage for that is all he and most Nazi's knew/ were trained to think like. Schindler, in an attempt to gain better treatment towards the Jewish people within the camp, uses this desire as point of leverage. For Goethe, all of this translated to a matter of power, so Oskar spoke down at his level. As others pointed out, the concept of pardoning someone who did nothing wrong makes no inherent sense, but the language used, the methodology, creates power for the wielder of those words. In practice, it simply meant that Goethe could seem himself as an emperor for not shooting some people when he usually would, but as to what Oskar was speaking to it means something entirely different. You gain power through trust and compassion. As Oskar learns, by treating others with kindness, love, and forgiveness, you gain their trust and respect in turn. They will do what they can to help you to the best of their ability because they respect and feel valued under the ruling party. It also furthers the religious allusions made throughout the film to Oskar being a "Moses-like figure" as how he describes power is essentially what Judaism preaches; forgiveness, love, compassion, community, and respect.


TL;DR: Wow this movie was a lot and I cried a lot during Rena's talk and the final scene with Schindler where he broke down after wishing he could have saved more people (that hit me hard). I can't really process everything that happened right now, but I though it was amazing, sad that most people wont be able to experience it, cool how power is talked about (and how there are two different usages of it throughout/ being talked about in the same scene, and I don't know what my limit is in times of life threatening danger to protect someone else.

Avatar
Museum1978
Posts: 6

A good person but a bad man

Not to underhand Schindler’s List, but there are tons of uncensored and raw cruelty and violence of humanity movies out there. But there’s a small amount of movies recognizing genocide, and genocides other than the holocaust. Typically, unlike most people, I can’t stomach the reality of harshness or cruelty in the world. Even reading articles about “day to day” crimes, all completely unjust and that includes discrimination but is somehow smaller because it isn’t a whole era of large amounts of death camps, can lead me to overfeel and feel pessimistic about the world in one sitting instead of wanting to find a solution. And it also further digs in that emptiness and hole that there’s no hope for living in a world where such things happen and honestly be depressed. In fact, I’m going to reword something I said: those “day to day” crimes really are much smaller because what happened during the holocaust was absolutely pure hatred and violence. Thus moving on, I think the real way to stomach thoughts like mine is to accept it. And what’s sad is that I can honestly admit that I finally learned to accept things from watching this movie, only now (not all those days we even talked about the holocaust in school, learned of other genocides or discuss other forms of hatred). When the first man got shot down randomly and for being crippled, I felt repulsive towards the movie and I honestly wanted to run out of the theater because I didn’t want to face what large scale events happened next- so much for activism. I didn’t want to not see the truth because I’m ignorant but I really did think I couldn’t handle it. The uncensored and absolute reality was really just shoved onto us. I can’t even imagine myself wanting to watch this on my free time, if it was ever available on a list during movie night or something, just because I know my emotions are unstable over the reality of harshness (or easily triggered and mental health issues and all). But now, I’m glad I saw it and gained this acceptance even though I can’t wrap my head around why or how anything like this could happen.

Schindler’s character was really interesting, and although he was totally immoral like and dirty, I did like him from the beginning because of his genuinity and ease of getting people to like him. At least he’s in the right path of that sort of simplicity: that it’s good for people to like you instead of causing people to hate you. (Unlike the complete sociopath Amon Goeth who I couldn’t stand from the very first appearance and based wholly on attitude which fit perfectly for his cruel character in circulating the stigma for random violence.) And even though I really hate this quote, the saying that he’s a good person but not a good man, it would best fit Schindler. He doesn’t harm people or want destruction but he’s pretty much a grown fuckboy and a businessman (the occupation speaks for itself). Still, it’s important to note that he was always genuine and sort of humble for trying to get people to like him. Decency is always expected of all humans. But he wasn’t just decent, I really do think he just liked to be genuine. That’s why he was a good person, he did have an underlying limit to morality even if he lived immorally (a bad man). That was exactly his power: to befriend. His view of pardoning is that you pardon yourself not others. Even if you have such power and resources to punish and harm, controlling yourself and not doing so is what pardons you. Meanwhile, the absolute sociopath Goeth used fear as his power. He thought that pardoning was a slip to give others which only enhanced that he had power. Whereas Schindler pardoning himself from shoving his power up people’s faces, Geoth’s pardon was one to revadilfy his throne.

Now, moving onto what I’d do. I already know what it’s like to be discriminated against. This also validated why I didn’t want to see this film (because of fear). I felt guilty that I couldn’t accept another’s truth but I knew fully well that violence like that could definitely be possible for myself. It was like not wanting to watch the movie to respect the victims, but then watching it because there’s reason that benefits YOU. It seems like in a situation as harsh as this, I’d be ignorant and give up quickly based on my refusal to accept societal issues and reality and my constant run away move. But it’s true, I’d only give up. I could never ignore though. If I saw other’s lives in danger, I think I would actually be sacrificial and try hard to help them. This can be seen as giving up because you’re giving up on your own survival. I also know for sure I couldn’t ever take the role of “Jews turned ‘Judenrat’”. As I said, I’d give up on survival too fast and even want to not live and like bluntly kill myself- which is absolutely selfish because you’re still not doing good to help others and now even yourself by ditching your beliefs and falling prey to being hopeless. I really can’t imagine myself for being someone that tries to take various actions to survive, but as the opposite which isn’t any better. My view is completely pathetic and sad as trying to save yourself the experience and in doing so you ditch the stance on your sharing of beliefs with your community (so in a way you’re disrespecting your people like that). Hence, that’s probably my line and limit. I don’t think you should give in right away but fight. That kind of acceptance, not the acceptance of reality and finding solutions but the acceptance of the situation and giving in, is what is my honest limit and line.

Lastly, Schindler slowly developed into being an upstander. He was a bystander because he watched but he couldn’t just horse right into the liquidation and really do something that could cause a change. He was a bystander because of (what as I called earlier) his bad man situation of living. He was a businessman looking for free workers and though he never mistreated them he did sort of use them. He saw the discrimination taking place as the Jews were forced into ghettos, but he did nothing and didn’t think much of it. In fact, he thought this war was great for his business. But when they liquidate Krakow, he finally sees in color (literally, the red coated girl). He’s sees the mass violence clearly even though his bad businessman etiquette covered up the beginning discrimination, the violence in front of him was clear. This slowly starts a shift in his morality, and to get him to think more and do more. He was always a good person because he drew upon his own morale and understood that what was happening was wrong. It seems simple but then again there’s that sociopath, so… He changed his ways of being a bad man but good person, into a good person overall.

Avatar
Boston18
Posts: 28

Schindler's List

This movie was shocking, to say the least. Censorship was nonexistent, and the complete disregard Nazi soldiers and generals (like Amon Goeth)) had for human lives was appalling. However, I believe that the film did a great job portraying the horrors of the Holocaust, and developing the character of Oskar Schindler. Oskar was an unconventional man in all disciplines of life, and his take on the meaning of power is no different from all his other relatively abnormal ideologies.

In teaching Amon about what true power is, Oskar argues that picking up a gun and shooting somebody dead for their faults is very easy- anyone can do it. In the society they lived in, one of utter hatred, racism, and encouraged cruelty, Oskar addresses that Amon has been granted every justification to kill. By pardoning (forgiving), however, one shows great power in resisting the urge to punish somebody, and one becomes a celebrated and powerful leader. Like I said, any man given those conditions could kill with no limits, but not every man can hold a gun to somebody's head, and abandon the idea of killing. Goeth, however, previously believed that power was synonymous with control, and so does Oskar. The main difference is that Goeth believed power is controlling others, while Schindler believes power is controlling oneself.

Every person was focused on their survivals, as they should have been. We saw examples of children kicking out other children from hiding spots, because of the limited space to hide. We also saw women refuse to allow mothers to hide, and mothers instead giving their children shelter instead of themselves. We saw one boy in the Judenrat (Jewish police force working for the Nazis) take part in the resistence as well, hiding a woman away from the Nazi soldiers during the liquidation of the Ghetto. FInally, we witnessed Mr. Oskar Schindler save over one thousand Jews by buying them to work in the factory he built to keep them safe, away from the heart of the Nazi action (in his home town). In doing so, he risked himself, the operation, and all of the Jews under his protection, but given the circumstances, it simply had to be done. Had Schindler not saved all these people. there is a fair chance they would had all died at the hands of the Nazis. This was the extent to which the "line" was crossed in order to save people: working behind the backs of high ranking Nazi officials to resist their entire war movement.

There is a striking difference between the Schindler from the beginning of the film, and the Schindler from the end of the film. At the beginning, Schindler was a crude businessman, stopping at nothing to maximize his profits (in this case, through Jewish slave labor). He even accepted one of the apartments seized from the Jews, and showed no sense of disgust of the genocide folding out before his very eyes. As time passed, his factory became known as somewhat as a sanctuary (or heaven) for Jews: they could work there, be considered skilled laborers, and be spared from death. It was after Oskar witnessed the liquidation of the Ghetto, and the heartless, day long mass murder of thousands of Jews, that a chord was finally struck in his heart. No longer did he employ people just based off their ability to work, but he began employing as many people , as he could, including the elderly and the children.

Earlier in the movie, I caught Schindler proclaiming that he longed to be a man who would be remembered after his death for doing great things. Perhaps he saw this as his chance. Perhaps he was actually appalled by the treatment of the Jews, and decided to use his platform to save many of them. Nonetheless, disregarding his intention, one thing is absolutely inarguable: Oskar Schindler stopped at nothing to save as many Jewish people as he could with the money and resources that he had. He maintained his cover as a Nazi man until even after the war, so that SS officers wouldn't catch on to his scheme- knowing that he would be hunted as an enemy of humanity after the war ended. He was a hero among villains, and a legendary one at that. If every powerful man had done what Oskar did to save as many Jews as possible, then tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of more Jews would have been spared. His actions serve today as one of the pinnacles of up-stander examples, and by learning his story, we are now in the position to carry on his legacy, and not allow anything like this to occur again.


Avatar
TurnOverThisPage
Posts: 20

Reaction to Schindler's List

This movie is amazing. I just want to put that out there before I start. This was my second time watching it, and it only became more powerful.

Now, into some analysis.

Schindler recognizes that Goeth is driven by power. He understands that Goeth kills because he likes the feeling of power, not entirely because he likes to see dead bodies (though, truth be told, that might also be the case). Therefore, he tells Goeth that true power is not having the power the power to kill someone, but having the power and choosing not to use it. I'm not sure if Schindler really believed that himself, or if he was only using it as a way to influence Goeth. Maybe Schindler did believe it, and that's why he chose to pardon all of his Jewish workers. Nevertheless, it worked, at least until Goeth caught on.

I don't think I can really say what moral or ethical lines should not be crossed. I have very little knowledge of the horrors people experienced, and no idea how much suffering they endured. My ideas of morality or ethics can not hope to encompass everybody's situations. I could say that betraying your fellow Jews by working in the Judenrat for the Germans is a line that should not be crossed. Yet, how can that blanket statement take into account the situation of the little boy, who likely had no family to take care of him, who joined the Judenrat simply to survive. At least the other members of the Judenrat might have had a chance at survival, seeing as they were able-bodied men who could work. The little boy would have been killed for sure. I think it is also foolish to say that I would have chosen to go to the labor camps, had I known the horrors that awaited me there. I might very well have joined the Judenrat to save my own skin, had I been in that situation. When it comes down to it, there are few, if any actions that people will not take to save their lives. And I can't blame them for it. My perception of the world and morality would likely undergo a drastic shift if I ever found myself in a situation that threatened my life.

Why did Schindler save his workers? Frankly, I don't know. He didn't seem like a humanitarian man for half of the film. It may be that he saw the horrors his workers were subjected to and felt some sort of human empathy towards them. But I can't believe that other factory owners across Poland and Germany didn't also feel sorry for their workers. Maybe he was just more involved in the matters of his workers than most factory workers. After all, he did know the names of every man, woman, and child he put on the list. But then again, that was a conscious choice he made, to interact with them. Maybe, because he had Itzak Stern, he was able to interact exclusively with the most helpless Jews, the ones that needed saving the most. Instead of seeing able-bodied men and women in the factory everyday, Schindler saw old and feeble men and women or young and innocent children who needed his help. I think this may be the biggest factor in his decision to help the Jews. He didn't see them as simply cogs in the machine, necessary to keep his factory running, but replaceable. He saw them as human beings. I still think there must be something more, some reason why only he helped save the Jews. Maybe some of the others felt as he did, but simply didn't have the means to save their workers. I used a lot of maybe's but there really is no way to know for sure.

Avatar
Latin'sLiability
Posts: 27

Thoughts on the actions of Oskar Schindler

Thank you Ms. Freeman for allowing us the opportunity to see such an impactful movie and meet a brave surviver of such horrific events, this was truly an experience that changed my perspective on many things.

One of the parts of this film that I found most interesting was the scene where Schindler explains to Goeth what he thinks it means to pardon someone. Schindler believes that being able to take someones life and then not doing it is true power. Goeth at first appears to think this is ridiculous but then makes an effort to "pardon" people. In the end though, he fails. This is because Goeth believes that power is being able to take people's lives and doing so without a second thought.

I do not think that there is a perfectly drawn out moral or ethical line. I think that it all depends on the situation, when it comets stealing or a petty crime like that, sometimes even hurting others. Still I believe that no human has the right to take the life of another human, and that nobody should have the right to have the ABILITY to take the life of another human (firearms). To save your own life you must never take the life of another that is not already trying to take your life. If someone is in the same situation as you then you become your priority, but that doesn't mean you harm the others in any way, there would be no just reason for this, exactly how there was no just reason for what the Nazis did.

I think that in the end, Schindler is a hero. I did not think this at first. At first I thought he was just a man who came to his senses and didn't want to be a monster. At first Schindler saw the world as revolving around himself, the problems of others were of no importance to him, wether Nazi or Jew. Still when he was more actively exposed to the atrocities taking place he tried his best to ignore them and focus on what he thought he should care about. There came a point when he could no longer ignore what was happening and the responsibility he had to do something about it.But there was a part in the film where Schindler speaks to a man similar to him, a man who has been helping Jewish people in small under the radar way, but Schindler wants him to do more. The man refuses, because doing more risks his own safety. The difference between men like these and Schindler is that Schindler stopped at nothing to save the people that he did. He gave up what he cared about most, money and risked his life and everything he ever cared about before. To go to such measures you must really genuinely care about what you are doing, so I believe that Schindler really genuinely cared about the people he was saving, every last one of them. At first Schindler saw the world as revolving around himself, the problems of others were of no importance to him, wether Nazi or Jew. Still when he was more actively exposed to the atrocities taking place he tried his best to ignore them and focus on what he thought he should care about. But there came a point when he could no longer ignore what was happening and the responsibility he had to do something about it.

Avatar
kwameture
Posts: 13

Schindler’s List

I was very moved by this movie and it’s message and I very much admire the strength of all of the survivors and people who went through these tragic events. In the movie, there were many times when I thought Schindler was very wise. One of these times was when he was discussing the idea of power with Geoth. While Geoth thought that power meant using all of the force you had in order to show people who had less power than you how much power you truly had, Schindler knew that that was not the case. When Schindler explains that “power is having the justification to kill, but not killing” he reveals the truth about power. It is all about control, not about using as much of it as possible. Because Geoth is so violent and narrow minded, he had never understood this before. He decides to take Schindler’s approach only to return back to his old ways.

In the film, there are some Jewish people that become police officers and others who work with Nazis. While this may seem like crossing the line, they are able to infiltrate from the inside, putting people to the good side of the line and essentially saving people’s lives. For me, crossing the line that you can never come back from us ratting out a fellow Jewish person for personal gain such as money. Considering how grave the circumstances were, people who gave information to the Nazis must have known the person that they were giving information about was most likely going to be killed, but they still gave the information. An action that you can refrain from to save your own life would be helping other Jewish people hide or protect themselves, which is something that many non Jewish people that I admire very much.

I think the true turning point for Schindler was when he was up on the roof on his horse and saw the liquidation of the ghetto taking place. He did not realize the gravity of the war and the very fast escalation until this happened. This is when he came to the realization that he must help these people in some way or they would die. He saw them as more than factory workers now. It was his time to do whatever he could to contribute to the effort to help end the war. All of the people he saved by using his own money made up for his profiteering during the beginnings of the war, showing what he was truly like as a person as that is a good human being. This movie had a very lasting effect on me because it showed me what it meant to be an upstander in a world full of bystanders

Avatar
C1152GS
Posts: 24

Thoughts?

Throughout the movie, all I kept thinking about was if I would be able to live through that. There are three scenes in the movie that was hard for me to watch and keep replaying in my mind ever since I got home 1. The scene with the little boy in the toilet 2. Scene about power 3. The scene when a guy keeps shooting but nothing

4The last scene in the movie

5. The scene with baby crying

I tried to understand why people would kill so many for their own amusement. It stuns me. How could one kill someone or watch people die without feeling compelled to do something? Schindler’s view of power changed in the movie. He first used it to influence his friends in order to make money. As the movie progressed there was a dramatic change and he started to see power as a means to help the hopeless. Amon’s Goeth view of power is the opposite. He used his guns and his position of power to shoot and kill. He used it to terrify any and everyone that comes in his way. This view of his is intensified when he woke up in the morning and killed a couple of Jews from his house. He then returns to his bedroom and scares the woman he slept with. Amon doesn’t feel anything for others, whereas, Schindler did. When the little boy jumped into the outside toilets that were the scene where I told myself that’s it. To me, I don’t know how I would move on after my family has died. The fear I would live with every day and for an amount of time that I would not know. I think it would be easier to just die instead of living through all that. I think those who took extreme measures to save their and others lives are brave and strong. The line that I cannot be crossed for me is hiding in piles of human feces. The thought of death is scary to everyone, but what else would I have to live for? More pain? I think Schindler started to change in the scene when the man without an arm came to thank him for saving his life. Schindler became defensive because he didn’t want to humanize his actions. Before this scene Sc After that scene Schindler saw the liquidation of the jews which I think further inspired him to become an upstander.

Avatar
Tagaros
Posts: 14

Thoughts on the Actions of Oscar Schindler

Schindler's List was truly a great movie. It was very moving for many, if not all of us, allowing us to understand more of the reality of what happened during the Holocaust. As others have said, what made the movie so powerful was that it let us see, with our own eyes, what happened to the millions of innocent victims. While we have learned about what happened in our history classes, it still remained a little abstract to us. We only ever talked about it; we never saw any real evidence. While I'm not saying that none of us believe what we learned, it still appeares to be distant to some of us (though there are those who still feel the affects of this tragedy today). That's what made the movie so powerful: it showed us the genocide, uncensored, and even though it was done through great acting and good eggects, it still brought us closer to the Holocaust. I'm very glad I got a chance to see the movie with others.

Now, to discuss what power means to certain people, and what Schindler meant by pardoning others. I believe that "pardoning" others is, as Schindler himself said, showing mercy to others. I also believe that, by showing that you "pardon" someone, you have power over yourself, as you are able to show self-restraint. To Schindler, power is the ability to manipulate others in order to get what he wants. He does this through bribery, threats, and through showing mercy as well. To Goeth, power represents the ability to control who lives, and who dies. By randomly shooting innocent people, he seeks to prove that he has power over others, outside the realm of upholding justice.

To me, the line that I would not, and I believe should not be crossed, is sacrificing others in an effort to save yourself. To me, that is one of the worst things a person can do, as people end up losing their humanity by doing this. They would have to consider themselves to be above others, allowing them to not feel terrible when they do this as, in their eyes, those people they sacrificed where lesser, and so didn't deserve to be free, or even live. In my eyes, everyone deserves the right to live, and everyone deserves to live in freedom, unless they do something to jeopardise the lives of others.

I think that there are three moments where Schindler begins to change, allowing him to risk his life in order to save the lives of others. The first scene is when he talks with Helen Hirsch in the cellar of Amon Goeth. He then begins to realize that what the Nazi party is doing is deplorable and wrong, but he doesn't have enough motivation to act. The second would be when he sees the ghetto being "liquidated," meaning the slaughter of hundreds, if not thousands of people. This further shows him that what's going on isn't right, and that somethinh should be done. The final straw is when he sees the girl in the red coat from the ghetto, dead, on a cart full of other dead people, to be placed on a conveyer belt and be cremated. This is what finally drove him to try to save others.

posts 16 - 30 of 33